The Holocaust was essentially the systematic persecution and elimination of European Jews by the
Nazi Germany and its allies. The Holocaust occurred between 1933 and 1945. In the year 1933, the
Number of Jews that lived in the 21 countries that Germany would eventually occupy during WW II
Was something like nine million Jews. Statistics now show that two out of every three European Jews Had died during the Holocaust by 1945. While Jews were Nazi Germany’s primary target for this ‘Ethnic cleansing’, gypsies, physically disabled people and Polish nationals also came under the
Purview of the Holocaust. Nazi Germany had intended to spread of Soviet prisoners of war, political dissidents, gays and people subscribing to various religious beliefs suffered terribly under this regime.
No facts about the Holocaust would be complete without an explanation of who the Nazis really were.
There has been a lot of misunderstanding about the term. In fact, the word ‘Nazi’ is an abbreviation for the German equivalent of National Socialist German Workers Party. This was a right-wing political party launched by unemployed German veterans of World War I in 1919. When Adolf Hitler assumed leadership of this party in 1921, he turned it into a powerful political force by the time of the next
German elections came around. The Nazi philosophy had a strong anti-Communist, anti-Jewish and, generally, racist components. It was also highly nationalistic and militaristic, and had all the ingredients for the dictatorship that was to follow. This party came into power in 1933, with Adolf
Hitler appointed as Chancellor. This marked the end of German democracy, and what followed was an extreme curtailment of basic civic rights. Freedom of speech, press and assembly were soon only distant memories and a brutal dictatorship enforced by a reign of terror ensued. During the Nazi regime, Germany was under a constant atmosphere of fear, distrust and suspicion. It became normal for people to betray their neighbors, thereby helping the Nazis to obtain the submission of social institutions such as the civil service, the educational system, churches, the justice system, industry, business and other professions. The Nazis wanted to eliminate Jews and other communities was that they believed that Germans were Aryans, a superior race and that this race’s survival was compromised by the existence of ‘inferior races’ such as Jews, gypsies and disabled people who held economic progress back. Their existence, in their minds, was a biological threat to the purity of the
Aryan race. This made their extermination necessary. The Nazis held the Jews responsible for
Germany's defeat in World War I, blamed them for its lack of economic progress, and the proliferation of Communist parties in Europe, too. Eventually in the late 1930’s, the Nazis exterminated countless handicapped Germans by lethal injection and poisonous gas. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, they employed mobile killing units. The personnel that operated these shot large numbers of Jews and gypsies in open fields and ravines on the outskirts of conquered cities and towns.
They finally developed a more ‘efficient’ method for killing large numbers of people. They established six extermination centers in occupied Poland and began the wholesale murder that now typifies all accounts of the Holocaust. The Nazis deported those marked for extermination to these centers from Western Europe and from the Eastern European ghettoes established by the Nazis. Millions of others died in these ghettos and concentration camps because of forced labor, starvation, exposure, brutality and disease. The Holocaust and its aftermath left millions of refugees, including many Jews who had lost most or all of their family members and possessions, and often faced persistent anti-Semitism in their home countries. The original plan of